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A Nightmare on Kombat Street: When Movies and Games Collide

BREAKING NEWS!

Stop whatever it is you’re doing and close all other browser tabs. Movies and games have collided again, but this time, it’s going to change the way we perceive modern media—forever! Pretty much!

Here’s the headline, straight from USA Today:

The Next ‘Mortal Kombat’ Brawler: Freddy Krueger

It’s okay. I didn’t believe it at first either, but this is legit. This is for real! This is the piece of news that the world has been waiting for with feverish anticipation, and now that it’s finally in print, we can let the tears of joy stream down our cheeks in rivulets of nostalgic bliss. I already have—and honestly, my tears have never tasted better.

Before I relay any useful information though, please allow the following Photoshop image to illustrate how revolutionary this news really is:

Yeah, that’s gonna happen! Thanks to astonishing ingenuity on the part of Warner Bros. Games (who released the latest Mortal Kombat game just a few months ago), MK devotees will finally be able to pit Sub-Zero against horror movie icon Freddy Krueger. He’ll be available to download on August 9th.

Sure, it’s an amazingly generous thing to do, but why the generosity? More importantly, why Freddy?

Remember when this was scary?

Plenty of games have been made into movies in the past, and plenty of movies have been made into games, but it’s pretty rare to see a single movie character appear in a game. In truth, there hasn’t even been much of a demand for Freddy Krueger since the days of Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, the highest grossing entry in that franchise. Since that time, Freddy’s popularity among moviegoers has been on a steady decline.

The popularity of Mortal Kombat has faded over the last several years as well. The original game was a runaway hit among arcade-goers in the early-90s and managed to stir its fair share of controversy for its violent gameplay, but in the twenty or so years that followed, gamers all but forgot about the edgy and innovative style that gave Mortal Kombat such a distinct appeal. That is, until earlier this year, when a new game and web series brought MK back from near-pop culture oblivion.

Looks like Mortal Kombat got its fans back!

Now, thankfully, Mortal Kombat is enjoying a renewed interest among modern gamers. In fact, gamers are paying mightily to enjoy it. There are a total of 28 playable characters in the game, but players also have the option to download additional characters at $4.99 apiece. There are four additional characters to choose from, including Freddy, so it’ll cost roughly $20 to own them all. The game itself retails at $49.99, by the way. That’s a lot of cold hard cash to shell out just to enjoy everything that a particular game has to offer, but the gamers are apparently willing to pony up, so maybe it’s not all that surprising that the developers are willing to throw such an interesting new fighter into the mix.

Since many fans of the newest Mortal Kombat game were around when the original game was in its heyday, and since many of those fans would have been familiar with Freddy while he was still popular, maybe it’s just a matter of putting two and two together. Plus, violence begets violence, so Freddy’s sort of a perfect fit for the game anyway. In any case, it’ll be two nostalgic indulgences rolled into one. And as we all know, nostalgia has a way of facilitating our indulgent purchases, so maybe that’s as far as we need to look into it.

When it comes to "Kombat," brutality is just part of the brand image!

Then again, part of any good game developer’s job is to ensure that players remain interested in the game long after it’s been released and that they remain satisfied with their purchase long after they’ve made it. The new Mortal Kombat game came out in mid-April of this year, a mere four months ago, but Kreuger will already be the fourth downloadable player to grace the game since then. Not a bad way to incentivize brand loyalty among players, is it? And what’s better than seeing our favorite brands “wow” us in unexpected ways from time to time? Not much, that’s for sure.

Now, if only they’d add a few more horror icons to the mix, we’d have a movie-to-game crossover to end them all!

Agree? Disagree? Post your feedback in the comments below and feel free to name your favorite Mortal Kombat character when you do!

Image sources: Kantenflimmern, Jaradcel, SobControllers, Double Feature Podcast, and popculturegeek.com



Joseph Giorgi

Joseph is the head of the Media Team at Quality Logo Products. He's a video specialist, blogger, perfectionist, and all-around likeable guy. When he's not busy focusing on the nitty-gritty details of his written and visual work, he's normally listening to bad 80s music and scouring the internet for useless information on useless subjects. You can also connect with Joe on Google+.

Comments

  1. Bret B.

    This is a BRILLIANT idea… I mean… Nothing makes a fighting sim/game more entertaining and fun to play than NEW characters.

    GENIUS!

    I love his FATALITIES too…. Very cool.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      The boiler room Fatality is pretty nifty.

      And appropriate. :)

  2. Scooby

    Nintendo Karate will still be my all-time fav. fighting game!!

    When it comes to the mashing of MK and FK- they are a little late in my opinion. This would have been way more effective when MK popularity was dying- back in the mid ’90s. I am sure this will continue to spark SOME interest, but I think it will fall flat and fall under the “too much, too late” category. What’s next Oregon trail mashed with Zoolander?

    • Jill Tooley

      Now THAT I would have to check out. The thought of Derek Zoolander in a covered wagon makes me laugh! ;)

    • Joseph Giorgi

      I agree. Seeing this kind of crossover in the mid-90s would’ve been an event that words couldn’t describe! It would have rejuvenated both franchises at a time when they needed it the most.

      It may be “too late” to bring newcomers to the MK series at this point, but I think that this will excite most of the existing fan base — myself included.

    • Vern-Matic

      Totally, have we already forgotten that the MK universe did this already? They recently did a mash-up of Mortal Kombat and the DC Universe. In comic book form that would work but charging me 60 bucks to watch Superman fight Rayden just really didn’t interest myself or the majority of its core fans.

  3. Vern-Matic

    Great post Joe I read about the Freddy addition sometime last week. This reminds me of when World of Warcraft extended the game w/the Mr. T character, I had to force myself not to reactivate my account. Like you said nostalgia will run ones wallet.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Mr. T? Seriously? That’s an interesting choice for a character! Are celebrity characters like that common in the WOW universe?

      • Vern-Matic

        No it was more of a marketing campaign where you could meet his character and get this Mohawk hand grenade. They did the same thing w/Ozzy Osbourne afterwards

  4. Jill Tooley

    I LOVE Mortal Kombat! From the Sega Genesis version to the most recent XBOX 360 release, I’ve followed this series through thick and thin. So it makes me happy that they’ve rekindled such an interest these past few years! The blood, gore, and gratuitous violence turn many away, but it’s all part of the game.

    Speaking of blood and gore, it’s interesting that they’ve chosen Freddy as a playable character. I don’t know why they didn’t think of it before! The two seem to fit together like Tetris pieces. Freddy was nightmare-inducing once upon a time! Any word on additional characters they may make available if Freddy is a raging success? Chucky seems like a logical choice in the future (even though I never got into those films) and they might even throw Jason or Michael Myers in there…although part of me is really rooting for Alien or Predator. Hey, I can dream…

    Oh, and by the way, I have several favorite MK characters. But I’d have to say that Rayden or Scorpion top the list. I used to kick a bunch of ass with Sindel, too!

    Awesome post! :)

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Thanks, Jill!

      Yeah, Freddy is definitely a great fit for the world of MK. No word yet on additional characters though. I think Freddy may be the last for a while.

      Predator would be a perfect fit for MK! I can only imagine the kind of epic brawl that would ensue if he were to go up against Scorpion. Speaking of — I’d have to say that Scorpion has pretty much always been my favorite character. :)

      Is Sindel in the newest MK?

      • Jill Tooley

        Predator would be pretty sweet, right? But I don’t think they’ll ever cross the two. :(

        Sindel first appeared in MK3, and I’m 99.9% sure she was in the most recent game for 360 – all of the characters were, even the obscure ones like Ermac (another underrated but pretty cool character). Once that game comes down a bit in price, I’d love to add it to my collection!

        • Joseph Giorgi

          Good call on Ermac being underrated. For a short while (back when UMK3 first came out), he was my preferred character. I eventually came back around to Scorpion though.

      • Ness

        SCORPION FTW LAWLZ

    • Amanda

      I played some MK on our Sega Genesis—that was a pretty fun game. How crazy it will be to be able to fight with FK on MK. Even those letters look cool together. Gamers could really enjoy this. =)

      • Joseph Giorgi

        MK on Sega Genesis was the way to go. Those were the days! :)

  5. Jen

    I can’t wait to see what Freddy’s Fatality will be. I hope it’s a sweet Dream Sequence. Freddy puts his opponent to sleep and kills him/her violently in the dream!
    That would be super awesome!

    Great Post Joe!!!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Thanks, Jen! I hope you’re right. It would be fantastic to see such an elaborate Fatality!

  6. Cybernetic SAM

    “Don’t make me laugh!” I <3 MK! I like to think I am a bit of a natural. I am not much of a video gamer but I do love me some MK! I still am not that interested in the movie aspect, or the new MK for that matter I am A-OK with just playing it old school, I feel the more games get re-done I feel they lose a bit of their integrity, because we adored them for what they were when they came out, change that and I feel like every minor alteration slightly alters the ability to keep loving it.

    • Joseph Giorgi

      A “bit of a natural,” eh? We’ll see about that! ;)

      I agree though — “old school” is still the best way to rock some MK!

  7. JPorretto

    I tried to like MK. I really did. It just didn’t take I guess. I actually enjoy watching MK videos more than playing it. So in that respect, I can’t wait to see Freddy’s Fatalities AND Babalities!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Hah. I forgot about Babalities! Freddy’s will be fun to see.

      Sorry to hear that you didn’t take to MK. I can totally understand though. I wouldn’t be able to jump into something like Street Fighter or Soul Caliber very easily — in fact, I wouldn’t want to. I grew up with MK, so that’s pretty much the only fighting game I’m interested in.

  8. Amanda

    This post reminds me of the songs they’ve mashed up through the years–some of them are awesome, while some fell very flat. Hopefully this will prove to be an exciting change for the gaming world. Good blog topic Joe!

    • Joseph Giorgi

      It’s very exciting — that’s for sure! I just hope they continue to add more interesting characters down the line. Now that they’ve branched into the film world with Freddy, maybe they can mine other film franchises for cool characters as well. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  9. Jenna

    I love this. I always loved Mortal Kombat on Sega Genesis. I was never a big Freddy fan, but the idea is really cool! It would be interesting to see them continue to do this with other pop culture icons. Maybe the AllState Insurance guy?? :D

    • Joseph Giorgi

      “Maybe the AllState Insurance guy??”

      LOL. Yes!

      I agree completely. They should be looking to other areas of pop culture (or even to other movie franchises) for character ideas. Hopefully Freddy will prove to be a financial success as a downloadable character so that we can see more of this type of thing.

  10. Mandy Kilinskis

    It has been ages since I played Mortal Kombat (which I will spell out because I keep reading “MK” as my initials…), but I’m pretty sure that I played as Johnny Cage pretty frequently.

    I’m not a fan of horror movies and I haven’t seen any of the Nightmare on Elm Streets, but I can understand how Mortal Kombat/horror movie fans are going nuts. For me, this would be if I could play a Disney Princess in a Final Fantasy–oh wait, that was what Kingdom Hearts was. I knew there was a reason I adored those games…

    • Joseph Giorgi

      Wow, those ARE your initials. Too funny!

      Kingdom Hearts is cool and all, but if they’d make Disney Princesses available as downloadable Mortal Kombat characters, they’d really be on to something! That would make for one heck of an interesting brawl.

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